Contextual relevance greatly impacts organic search rankings. But relevance requires words, which are sometimes difficult to produce.
Contextual relevance greatly impacts organic search rankings. But relevance requires words, which are sometimes difficult to produce.

You have a topic to write about and a blank page. You also have writer’s block, that dreaded mental paralysis that accompanies a clean sheet of paper or empty Word doc. Now what?

Contextual relevance is one of the primary elements that determines search rankings — organic and paid. But relevance requires words, and words require inspiration.

As search engine marketers, we have access to many resources to help. Here are nine of my favorites.

9 Ways to Break SEO Writer’s Block

Research keywords. The first way to break writer’s block is to consult the foundational tool for SEO: keyword research. Since search queries reflect information that people want to know and products they want to buy, it’s a natural tool to consult when you’re not sure what to write next.

Start with the primary keyword phrase you’re targeting in your post and look for related phrases and questions that you can answer. Layer in long-tail keywords that represent fewer searches than the most popular terms. These can support the contextual relevance of your content, and create a more natural tone.

Search on Google. Content that ranks well is an excellent model for creating more content that ranks well. Look to manufacturers’ descriptions and competitors’ sites as jumping off points.

Never plagiarize, both because it’s illegal and the search engines will detect it easily and deflate your rankings anyway. But there’s no harm in using the content that others have written as inspiration for your own.

Mimic customers. If your products are in the marketplace, chances are that consumers have reviewed them, blogged about them, or mentioned them on social media. Take note of the way they describe things — the words they use and the attributes that matter to them.

Your company might use slick marketing phrases, but if no one is talking about those phrases, it may…